Kansans for Life Legislative Summary April 3,2009
Late-term Abortion regulation - House substitute SB 218
Nearly all of this bill was part of CARA, the 2008 Comprehensive Abortion Reform Act:
• including clean up of technical error on fetal anomalies and elimination of viability conflict,
• excluding injunctive relief and acquisition of records objected to in Governor's 2008 veto.
Hsub SB 218 will increase physician accountability through these provisions:
1) clarifies late-term abortion medical diagnoses be reported instead of phony answers;
• must report medical method used to arrive at fetal gestational age,
• amplifies description of medical diagnosis required on KDHE form,
• gives KDHE additional rule-making authority needed for reporting,
• allows lawsuits for intentional physician misreporting,
• gives prosecutorial authority to AG or DA where constituent criminal acts occurred.
2) requires, not permits, state medical board to revoke license for late-term conviction;
• revocation can still can be overridden by 2/3 Board members.
3) helps women be better protected from unneeded abortions approved by physicians working for the abortionist [exemplified by the illicit collaboration that the state Board of Healing Arts, March 27, asserted about George Tiller, in their current pursuit to revoke his medical license]:
• requires that woman receive written diagnosis of medical condition 30 minutes before abortion,
• KDHE report will add name of second referring doctor and sworn statement from both
doctors that they aren't affiliated,
• woman and spouse (or parent/guardian for minor) may sue for criminal late-term abortion.
Provisions not in CARA: upgrades our partial birth law to match federal language excluding mental health exceptions and adds a single sentence to the 24-hour-ahead informed consent material that "abortion terminates the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being."
BACKGROUND ON LATE-TERM ABORTION LAW
Beginning July1998, K.S.A. 65-6703 banned abortions past viability, even those formerly allowed for reasons of fetal anomalies. The only permissible exceptions were those done to prevent the death or substantial and irreversible bodily damage of the mother. Those exceptions each required an independent second opinion and a written report to the state, giving the medical reason and basis why they were performed.
Total numbers of late-term abortions were expected to become rare, if non-existent. Even George Tiller had protested that his business would close with passage of the law. That did not happen. Hundreds of post-21 week gestation abortions are annually performed in Kansas. State reports show no abortions have been performed to save the mother’s life and no clinical medical conditions have been listed as the basis for post-viability abortions.
George Tiller uses 3 non-resident but Kansas-licensed abortionists to perform abortions. Since 1999, the state Board interpreted that unaffiliated, post-viability referrals must be obtained from Kansas-licensed physicians. Tiller testified that he called 100 retired Kansas physicians (still retaining active licenses) to do consultations, but none would do it. He exclusively uses one failed Kansas abortionist, Kris Neuhaus, to “sign off” that the post-viability abortion is needed to prevent substantial and irreversible bodily damage, without citing any medical condition.
LAW-BREAKING EVIDENCE IN PUBLIC DOMAIN:
• In Aug.1998, a much-publicized Michigan 12 yr.old had a Tiller abortion at 28 wks for incest. http://www.nrlc.org/news/1998/NRL8.98/Default.htm, http://cjonline.com/stories/073198/kan_abortion.shtm
• In Sept. 1999, an Arizona 14 yr.old, was sent to Tiller’s for an abortion at 24 wks due to rape http://cjonline.com/stories/090299/kan_abortion.shtml
• Michelle Armesto-Berge experienced a forced abortion at 25 weeks without a second referral and the statute of limitations has expired for a lawsuit. She recounts that none of the other 4 women—including 3 teens-- at Tiller’s that day for late-term abortion were suffering from an irreversible health condition.
• In a May 2005 L.A.Times story, 5 women described their post-21 week gestation abortions obtained at Tiller’s and none appeared to follow the law; some were done for Down Syndrome.
• A 2006 review of more than 30 Tiller patient files (obtained by Kline) by impeccably-credentialed expert psychiatrist, Dr. Paul McHugh, indicated that mental health exceptions were being claimed which were not sufficiently supported by the medical files, nor in accord with the law. http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=56167
• A 2007 interim committee was given information by the state Healing Arts Board that they had investigated 5 post-viability abortions and exonerated the abortion provider each time, although the reasons given did not appear to follow the law. http://skyways.lib.ks.us/ksleg/KLRD/2007CommRpts/fednstate.pdf
• A Dec.2008 petition by the state Healing Arts Board seeks revocation of Tiller’s license for fraud, unprofessional conduct, and not using an independent referral for 11 abortions in 2003. http://www.ksbha.org/Press_Releases/12-12-08_tillerpetition.pdf